Batangas mayor shot in chest during flag-raising ceremony
A town mayor in Batangas was shot in the chest during a flag-raising ceremony Monday, police said.
Supt. Chitadel Gaoiran, Calabarzon regional police public information office chief, said Tanauan City Mayor Antonio Halili was attending a flag raising ceremony in the vicinity of the new City Hall in Brgy. Natatas, he was shot around 8:10 am.
Halili was rushed to CP Reyes Medical Center but was declared dead at around 8:45am by the attending physician, Alexandrix Carandang.
Gaoiran said police created a Special Investigation Task Group (SITG) “Halili” to focus on the case.
According to Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Oscar Albayalde, investigators have not determined the motive behind the killing of Halili as well as the type of firearm.
Albayalde mentioned there were allegations Halili was killed by a sniper.
“They just heard a gunshot. sS the assumption or allegation it could be a sniper that hit him,” he said.
In a statement, Interior and Local Government OIC-Secretary Eduardo Ano ordered the PNP, especially Calabarzon police director Chief Superintendent Edward Carranza to make this case a top priority.
A?o says he told Carranza to interview key eye witnesses who were present during the flag ceremony as well as the mayor’s bodyguards who could provide a lead on the real motive behind the killings and the identification of the suspect.
Carranza, in an interview over dzMM, said only one bullet killed the mayor. "The bullet pierced his cellphone and entered his body," he said.
Since the National Police Commission (Napolcom) removed Halili's power over the police last November 2017 due his alleged links with illegal drugs, Carranza said Halili's security were those employed by the Tanauan City government.
Carranza said Halili did not tell him if there were threats to his life. Robina Asido/DMS